The World Bank is investing billions in this South African tech group to offer universal internet

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with South Africa’s Liquid Intelligent Technologies to expand data centre capacity and the rollout of fibre-optic cable across Africa.

This forms part of an effort to support universal and affordable broadband access in Africa, the IFC said in a statement on Monday (8 November).

The IFC’s equity and debt investments in Liquid Intelligent Technologies – which, to date, totals approximately $250 million (R3.7 billion) – will support the company to grow its hyper-scale data centre capacity in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa through its subsidiary, Africa Data Centres.

The investments will also support Liquid Intelligent Technologies in the continued rollout of its fibre broadband network, which today covers more than 100,000 kilometres of sub-Saharan Africa.

The continued build-out of its network will help to connect businesses and individuals to the Internet across the continent and position Liquid intelligent Technologies to be at the forefront of Africa’s digital transformation with the provision of complementary digital services, the IFC said.

“We are very pleased that IFC continues to support Liquid. The investments in our data centres and fibre broadband network will directly support our growth plans over the coming years by encouraging the adoption of new services such as Cloud and other digital services, services that are critical in driving sustainable development across Africa,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Liquid Intelligent Technologies executive chairman and founder.

“Digital technologies are rapidly transforming how people, businesses, and governments communicate, transact, and access information and services.

“By working with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, we can help expand access to infrastructure and digital services that power Africa’s digital economy, creating new opportunities for growth and jobs. This is an essential element for Africa’s economic transformation and building back better,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s managing director.

The IFC’s latest investment in Liquid follows its investment in the company in February 2021 through Liquid’s bond placement on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange. The issuance raised $620 million (R9.3 billion).


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The World Bank is investing billions in this South African tech group to offer universal internet